Kurdistan Region President Meets German FM Steinmeier in Berlin
Kurdistan Region President Masoud Barzani met Germany’s Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier in Berlin today.
The meeting at Germany’s Foreign Ministry focused on bilateral ties, political and security developments in Iraq and in the region.
After warmly welcoming President Barzani, Mr Steinmeier asked him for his views on the security problems in the Anbar province in western Iraq, relations between Erbil and Baghdad, the upcoming Iraqi parliamentary elections in April, the KRG project to export and gas via Turkey, and the impact of the Syrian crisis on Kurdistan and on Iraq.
Referring to his visit to Erbil in 2008, Mr. Steinmeier applauded the rapid developments in the Kurdistan Region and expressed his hope that the Region will continue to develop and prosper.
For his part, President Barzani said he was very pleased to meet Foreign Minister Steinmeier and expressed his hope that the Foreign Minister would pay another visit to Kurdistan in the future to see for himself the developments in Kurdistan. He also hoped that KRG relations with Germany would continue to strengthen, adding that the KRG views its ties with Germany with great importance.
On the political challenges fac- ing Iraq and especially the security crisis in the Anbar province, the President said, “It is important that a comprehensive solution is found for the problems facing Iraq, and the real solution is for Iraq to be committed to a federal system, which is a basic principle in the Iraqi constitution.”
“It is equally important that all sides work together in the fight against terrorism, especially at a time when they have increasingly grown in strength and now constitute a real threat to the whole region.”
The President went on to say that all political sides in Iraq must remain committed to holding the elections on time, due in late April this year.
On the KRG policy to export oil via Turkey, the President reiterated that ties between Kurdistan and Turkey are based on mutual interests, and that these ties would also serve the interest of Iraq in general.
Regarding efforts to form the new government cabinet in the Kurdistan Region, the President emphasized that the priorities for Kurdistan are to maintain the security and stability that prevail in the Region has, and also to continue to develop the Region and its economic infrastructure.